Monthly bin collections in Banbridge could have been trialled for longer

Morning View
Morning View

When Banbridge Council introduced monthly black bin collections, there was widespread concern, even outrage.

It meant that a household that for whatever reason missed their black bin collection would have to wait eight weeks before their bin was emptied.

This newspaper, which has strongly backed recycling initiatives, said monthly collections were a laudable aim but a step too far.

People needed to be given time to get used to such levels of recycling, and in any event there would always be a significant proportion of waste that could not be recycled.

Now, however, John McCallister in the News Letter makes a compelling case that it was not in fact a step too far.

The South Down MLA was initially concerned about the monthly plan and thought it would not work. However, given the extensive recycling alternatives provided by the council, he found that his family were easily able to cope with four-weekly black bin collections (see the photograph of his bin).

Mr McCallister’s argument in favour of the reformed method is all the more striking because he heads a household of five people, including an infant in nappies. One of the repeated arguments against infrequent bin collections is that families with nappies need more regular collections.

Recycling in Northern Ireland has been a triumph. There was opposition to fortnightly black bin collections, but these are now the norm. Most householders now accept that it is inconsiderate to pile all used items into the bin, including papers, bottles, cans, plastics, food waste.

Yesterday we reported that Belfast is paying £282,000 to dump glass that can easily be recycled.

Dumping stuff means more landfill and incineration. It means a future for our grandchildren that is more polluted than it needs to be.

The Banbridge plan appears to have been abandoned to suit a vocal minority.

The council seemed at first to have been too bold. But there is evidence the boldness was far-sighted. The experiment should have been extended for a longer trial period.

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